Local military news
USS Montgomery Blue crew holds change of command
SAN DIEGO (June 29, 2020) Cmdr. Austin Duff reads his orders to assume command of the Blue crew of the littoral combat ship USS Montgomery (LCS 8) during a pierside change of command ceremony. U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Hazel Arceo.
USS Gabrielle Giffords routine ops
SOUTH CHINA SEA (June 30, 2020) The Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) conducts routine operations in the South China Sea, June 30, 2020. Gabrielle Giffords, part of Destroyer Squadron Seven, is on a rotational deployment, operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations to enhance interoperability with partners and serve as a ready-response force. U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Brenton Poyser.
National military news
CNO message to the fleet on sustaining readiness
From Chief of Naval Operations Public Affairs
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Mike Gilday sent a message to the fleet stressing the importance of remaining vigilant in the long-term battle against the Coronavirus (COVID-19), June 30.
Below is the text of CNO’s message:
“As we head into a well-deserved holiday weekend celebrating our nation’s independence, I want to convey how proud I am of our collective resilience and grit during this challenging time, and stress the importance of remaining vigilant in our long-term battle against the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Together, we have impressively adapted and maintained our edge in confronting the COVID-19 Pandemic. Sustaining that hard-earned readiness is now dependent on each of us holding steadfast to the procedures, protocols and policies that keep COVID out of our commands. Especially this weekend, each of us will be faced with temptations to cut corners and return to the ‘old normal.’
Do not do it. The health and safety of our Sailors and families is my number one priority. Do not compromise yourself, your family or your friends and become the source of COVID-19 at your command. We must protect family and shipmates from this virus with the same intensity that we protect them from any adversary, with focus and conviction. We will remain socially distant, wash hands, wear face coverings, and avoid large groups.
COVID is an insidious enemy, with roughly 35% of those acquiring COVID remaining asymptomatic. A single, healthy-feeling individual can unwittingly spread the disease to many others. COVID does not care how long it has been since you shook a hand, went to a bar, or hugged your grandparents. It can and will continue to spread with reckless abandon unless we stay united in defensive action. Together, we will rigorously maintain health protection measures to protect our Navy family and assure mission success even when it may appear the general public may be relaxing them.
An additional important layer of defense against this disease, given that the only way to uncover asymptomatic individuals is through testing, is the Surveillance Sentinel Testing (SST) that NAVADMIN 178/20 puts in place. SST tests a small percentage of our force routinely to help break the transmission of COVID-19, increase awareness across our force and provide greater health protection mission assurance.
I am extremely proud of the readiness we’ve maintained during these past few challenging months. More than one-third of the Navy is currently forward deployed, spending longer times at-sea with fewer port visits. These units, and many other ongoing examples of prioritizing service and country above self, demonstrate what makes us strong and a great Navy. My deep and sustained thanks as we continue to define and operate in this ‘new normal.’”
MilGears Powered by COOL: Personalized credentialing for Sailors
PENSACOLA, Fla. - Based on the success of the Navy Credentialing Opportunities Online - Navy COOL - a new online tool is now available to personalize a Sailor’s search for civilian credentials and certifications to enhance their career.
This new tool, called MilGears, does the heavy lifting of matching a Sailor’s Navy career experience to potential credentials by synchronizing with the Navy COOL platform and drawing from other data already in the Sailor’s record like off-duty education.
How MilGears works is similar to many popular tax self-preparation programs that guide you step-by-step through the process. In MilGears, a Sailor will provide information and answering questions through a series of pop-ups and help boxes - all to get a complete background and profile of the user.
In the end, MilGears provides information and options for you to consider as you ponder your career move. MilGears is so advanced that it gives recommendations for industry credentialing that can help their in-service advancement while ultimately assisting Sailors in finding post-service employment.
“Military services and industry demand for credentialing continues to be very high,” said Jim Johnson, heads of the Education Strategy and Policy Branch for the chief of naval personnel. “The Navy and MyNavy HR are committed to providing service members with tools and resources to maximize the value of their training and experience, through credentialing.” Continue reading at https://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=113309.
Navy Reserve Force authorizing on-site drill weekends, starting in July
NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- Commander, Navy Reserve Force (CNRF) issued new guidance June 11 for resuming regular on-site drills at Navy Operational Support Centers (NOSC).
The new guidance, ALNAVRESFOR 013/20, provides a methodical approach for resuming weekend drills across the force while mitigating the risk for COVID-19. The process is dependent upon local conditions, guidance from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, guidance from Commander, Navy Installations Command, and approval from the CNRF chain of command.
“As some of our NOSCs begin to see the risk of the COVID-19 pandemic decline in their states and local communities, we need to begin a phased and methodical approach to bringing our Reservists back to regular, on-site drills starting in July” said Rear Adm. John Schommer, commander, Navy Reserve Forces Command (CNRFC). “We want to enable our NOSCs to start bringing their Sailors back to the drill, to support missions and individual readiness, based on local conditions. This will not be a ‘one size fits all’ return to one-site drills.”
An important part of the process is considering the Health Protection Condition (HPCON) of a NOSC’s installation, or in the case of an off-installation NOSC, the NOSC’s Navy Region, such as Navy Region Southwest or Region Mid-Atlantic.
“Once a NOSC commanding officer determines that all of the criteria is met for on-site drills, he or she will submit a request to their Navy Region Reserve Component Command (RCC) for approval,” said Errin Armstrong, chief of staff, CNRFC. “Over the past several weeks, roughly two dozen Full Time Support (FTS) and Selected Reserve (SELRES) Sailors from across the CNRF claimancy addressed some of the biggest issues with returning to drills, such as medical supplies and physical-spacing requirements. They have developed resources for NOSC commanding officers to reference as they go through this process.”
If local conditions are not right, however, Reservists can continue to perform liberal telework to earn their drill points and pay. The earliest a NOSC could theoretically resume on-site drills is July 11.
“We know that while some Reservists might be able to get back to regular drills, some may not have that opportunity,” said Armstrong. “Therefore, we want to be as flexible as possible.”
Reservists with health or overall concerns about the plan moving forward should speak with their chain of command as soon as possible.
“There will be a normal tension between resuming drills, but also protecting our Reservists from unnecessary risk to the enduring pandemic,” said Schommer. “Our NOSC COs are expected to take a measured risk-informed approach, and our Reservists are expected to follow public health measures to facilitate the balance of risk to mission and risk to force.”
TAP available online for transitioning Sailors
by MC1 Mark D. Faram, Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy has suspended all in-person Transition Assistance Program classes due to social distancing rules now in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
But the Navy is not eliminating the training requirement and instead is authorizing all separating and retiring sailors to complete this requirement online, allowing them to separate on time.
Here’s what you need to know:
“Commanders must continue to ensure transitioning Service Members are prepared to reintegrate into the civilian community, especially in the challenging times we face. Vice Adm. John B. Nowell, the Navy’ top uniformed personnel official said in NAVADMIN 082/20.
Active-Duty Sailors retiring or separating are exempt from the stop movement, which means that separations and retirements will go on as scheduled, unless Sailors request and are approved to reenlist or extend
The course completion requirement is also still in place for Reserve Sailors on active-duty orders for more than 179 days as well as mobilized reservists within 60 days of redeployment and demobilization.
For those with enough time left on the books, the message recommends they simply reschedule for a later date.
Those inside their 365-days prior to separation start time or 90-days prior to separation Capstone requirement must complete their training through the Joint Knowledge Online Website. Details on the TAP virtual curriculum to include links to the training available on the Department of Defense Transition Assistance Program Website.
What’s not changed is the requirement for initial Self-Assessment Counseling, Pre-Separation counseling and Capstone sessions. These can still be done in-person using proper social-distancing protocol or telephonically by command career counselors or TAP managers.
TAP related questions can be directed to Mr. Tom Albert, OPNAV N170C, at (901)-874-4254, DSN 882 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. .
United Through Reading®
Deploying? Service members invited to record stories for family at San Diego USO
United Through Reading® is a program helping ease the stress of separation for military families by having deploying or deployed service members read children’s books aloud via DVD for their family to watch at home. This powerful program is available to all military units. It provides service members a chance to make lasting connections from afar. The DVD recording and the book are mailed to the child and family back home.
Service members who are leaving for training can also take part in this program. Being a parent is not required; service members can send the DVD & book(s) to any special child in their life such as younger sister or brother, niece, nephew or godchild.
On the day of the recording, service members are encouraged to dress in the attire they will be wearing while deployed/training, but this is not required. The room is private, so any special message, or those fun reading voices, will only be heard by the recipient of the DVD recording. USO San Diego has books available, or service members can bring their own. Our volunteers will help set up the camera and then leave the room. The DVD can hold a 30 minute recording.
Please e-mail USO San Diego Staff Member Nichole Duarte at email@example.com to make your appointment. This program is offered at both USO San Diego centers.